This weekend is the big National Cartoonists Society Reuben Award Weekend in San Diego, where between 200-300 cartoonists will get together and eat, drink, be merry, and honor their fellow cartoonists with various awards. This year, we’ll be honoring some other folks as well… those that have served our country in the military.
Those who follow this blog will know I have been privileged to have been a part of several USO cartoonist tours to visit both wounded warriors and serving active military personnel in places like Germany, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan and other locations both in and out of war zones. Our groups meet and draw for the troops, trying to bring some smiles to some folks who could use them. The NCS has been very active in supporting our soldiers over the years, dating back to the very beginning of the organization in World War II.
This weekend the NCS will be spending our Sunday doing a little domestic-side troop support. Thanks to sponsorship from the USO, IDW Publishing and members Micheal Rameriez and Jeff Keane (both of whom have been on several of those fore mentioned tours), we will be doing several events with U.S. military service men and women.
Naval Medical Center Visit– About 70 cartoonists will get bussed up to the Balboa area to visit the naval hospital there to draw for wounded warriors, staff and their families. This will be very similar to what we do on the USO tours, especially the ones we take to places like the Landstuhl Medical Center in Germany, and Walter Reed, Bathesda Naval Hopsital or Brooke Medical Center here in the states. Many of the cartoonists will set up in a large commons area near the dining facilities, and others will be formed into small groups to visit patients who are not ambulatory.
USS Midway Museum Event– From 1:00 pm to 4:00 over 100 cartoonists will be set up and drawing on the aircraft carrier/museum the USS Midway in support of Legacy Week, a Memorial Day Weekend celebration honoring those who serve and have severed our country. Sketches and autographs are free but donations are encouraged in support of a charity TBA. This is open to the public and is our annual National Cartoonist Society Foundation outreach event, so come by and see us!
NCS Salutes the Troops Reception– That evening our traditional Sunday farewell gala will be on the deck of the USS Midway, where we will host a number of wounded warriors and their families, folks from the USO and enjoy the music of the DeLuz Band featuring Pulitzer prize winning cartoonist and terrific musician Michael Ramirez.
I’m looking forward to the entire weekend, but Sunday is going to be particularly special.
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